Throughout the battles over mutual security and the military budget, Eisenhower stuck firmly to one premise that he had settled on in his first year in office: Nuclear weapons would be at the center of national security policy. Nuclear weapons would also be the primary instrument and symbol of apocalypse management and the primary source of insoluble irony and insecurity. He left office as he had started, clinging to the New Look and its distinctive way of speaking about nuclear weapons.
This is a point worth establishing in some detail,
since there is a widespread impression that, from 1956 to 1960, Eisenhower
increasingly grasped the magnitude of the weapons’ growing destructive power
and changed his own views accordingly.
Early in 1956, the president did tell the NSC: “The
Yet the same man who made these statements presided over and approved a spectacular growth in the nuclear arsenal. When he entered office in 1953 there were no deliverable H-bombs, no ballistic missiles, no submarine-based nuclear weapons, no array of tactical nuclear weapons. When he left office, these and other innovations were facts of life. The nuclear buildup accelerated most during his last five years in office. According to one estimate, “The total megatonnage available was about 5,000 by 1955, 14,000 by 1956, and about 20,000 by 1960.”
Did Eisenhower build these weapons in order to use
them? He certainly protested, frequently
and vehemently, that a nuclear war must never be fought. There is no reason to
doubt that he was genuinely distressed by the mounting projections of death and
destruction, which reinforced his determination to avoid war. He lamented to Swede Hazlett: “The Almighty must have in mind some better
fate for this poor old world of ours than to see it largely blown up in a
holocaust of nuclear bombs.” When the
Soviets suppressed the Hungarian rebellion in 1956, he acted on his words. C.D. Jackson urged some slight pressure
against the Soviets; Eisenhower responded that annihilating
Perhaps, then, he built up the nuclear arsenal to
pursue a calculated strategy of deterrence.
Proponents of this view would argue that he knew very well that it was
impossible to fight a war with nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons were the surest deterrent to
war precisely because they were unusable.
“I want to keep the
In general, though, Eisenhower did not count on nuclear parity to ensure mutual deterrence. Insofar as deterrence theory influenced policies, the crucial premise was that weapons deter only when they pose a credible threat. As General Nathan Twining told the president: “A deterrent would cease to be a deterrent if the enemy came to believe that we had lost our will to use it.”  Eisenhower clearly agreed. From 1956 through 1960 (the years when, so many historians believe, he was changing his views), he continued speaking of nuclear weapons as perfectly usable weapons, weapons that he intended to use to win, if war came.
Why did a president who warned so often of the nuclear danger build and plan to use so many nuclear weapons? Eisenhower himself was always quick to blame “the other fellow” for creating his difficulties; the “faithless” Soviets were the “insuperable obstacle” to disarmament, he wrote in his diary. The president could never know if this was true because he would never take the risk of finding out (as the next chapter will show). Eisenhower could also have blamed domestic political pressures for his inconsistencies. Caught between strong pro-nuclear constituencies and growing pressures for disarmament, he might have been trying to please both constituencies. However, this interpretation falters for lack of evidence. Even in his most private recorded moments with Dulles and other confidantes, Eisenhower rarely introduced domestic political concerns into conversations about nuclear weapons.
Perhaps the unprecedented nature of the problem made
it too difficult to think clearly and consistently. Some of the president's closest advisors saw
it that way. Andrew Goodpaster later
said that the major problem was not politics, but the sheer novelty of the
weapons: “Eisenhower was being
intuitive, not intellectual.” C.D.
Jackson offered a harsher judgment.
While the president could often see “individual pieces of the
international jigsaw puzzle,”
Although all of these interpretations have some validity, none is wholly convincing. Eisenhower was improvising specific words and policies, dealing with specific domestic and foreign policy challenges. But he was always working within a single discursive framework. The logical consistency in his nuclear policies emerges when his discourse and policy are interpreted in light of each other and in light of their unifying thread, his pursuit of apocalypse management. That same discursive framework explains why Eisenhower could never put the pieces of the puzzle together and why he continued to try. It was that endless attempt, doomed to fail, that made his problems insoluble.
Early in 1956, Eisenhower told his old friend William
Robinson: “It is certainly conceivable
that conditions could arise under a Republican Administration when there would
be no alternative to a declaration of war.”
Life magazine had just
published Dulles’ boast that the administration had gone to the brink of
nuclear war: "The ability to get to
the verge without getting into the war is the necessary art." Eisenhower told his aides that he agreed: “If you are imposing a moral program in this
world, you have to stand behind it with strength … It would be unthinkable to be guilty of a
Despite his constant warnings of the horrors of war in the nuclear age, Eisenhower left no doubt that he would be willing to fight a global war. A report urging the importance of “the spiritual values of Western civilization” argued that a spiritual revival would foster a wider willingness to wage all-out war. Eisenhower endorsed this view: “General war is unthinkable, yet you rightly say that we must be ready to make an exception to this when our priceless values are directly threatened.” He explained his views when he discussed spiritual values with the Queen of Greece: “To accept the Communist doctrine and try to live with it” would be “too big a price to be alive. He said he would not want to live, nor would he want his children or grandchildren to live, in a world where we were slaves of a Moscow Power.” If World War III erupted during his term in office, he told Congressional leaders, “he might be the last person alive, but there wouldn’t be any surrender.” In a private conference with the British ambassador, he summed up his basic premise most concisely: “The President said that speaking for himself he would rather be atomized than communized.”
This was the same logic Eisenhower commonly used in
thinking about nuclear war. After a
nuclear war, the
However, the president had no intention of losing a
war. He consistently approved policy
documents like NSC 5810/1, which made it official policy to treat nuclear
weapons “as conventional weapons; and to use them whenever required to achieve
national objectives. … The
Nor did he keep his view secret. Victory was possible, he said in a major
address, though “even an
As the estimates of casualties rose steadily,
Eisenhower revised his image of nuclear war.
By early 1957, he told the NSC that there could be no conventional
battles: “The only sensible thing for us
to do was to put all our resources into our SAC capability and into hydrogen
bombs.…[to] concentrate on what measures we should undertake in the first week
of war. It would all be over by that time.” He stated “very clearly his opinion that we
had now reached a point in time when our main reliance, though not our sole
reliance, should be on nuclear weapons.”
He rejected the Gaither Committee’s recommendation for a huge fallout
shelter project, opting instead to rely on the
In the spring of 1958, Robert Cutler told the
president of a war exercise that had determined how many nuclear kilotons would
be needed to see “the U.S. going on to win” in two scenarios: attacking military targets and attacking
civilian targets. The latter required a
much smaller level of attack. That was
when Eisenhower approved “a targeting plan which would seek immediately to
paralyze the Russian nation.” He told
the NSC that the
Eisenhower recognized that this had always been his
policy: “We certainly did not intend to
change our fundamental military policy and program which we had been pursuing
for the last six years.” In the last
year of his presidency he reaffirmed the same policy. Since any war in Europe would be an all-out
nuclear war, the
Eisenhower occasionally seemed to reject the possibility of launching a preemptive nuclear strike. But he was much more likely to leave that door open.
In an early 1956 diary entry, he indicated that he wanted to
have early warning of a Soviet attack and respond with a preemptive
Eisenhower's affirmed his commitment to preemption
even more often toward the end of his second term. “We should get off our striking power as
quickly as possible.” “You try to shoot
your enemy before he shoots you.” “We
might get information about impending Russian attack which would cause us to
fire our missiles.” “Ultimately some President might have to decide that it was
his duty to strike the first blow against the
This became official, albeit implicit, policy in NSC 5904/1, “U.S. Policy in the Event of War,” which assumed the possibility of a preemptive response to an impending Soviet attack. When Eisenhower authorized some field commanders to use nuclear weapons without his prior approval, he implied a warfighting orientation and made pre-emptive attack more possible and more likely. In mid-1958 he said that he did not even know the precise rules governing pre-authorization to use nuclear weapons.
Later in his second term he began again talking about
a war that went beyond the initial nuclear exchange. He wanted the military to prepare for various
wartime contingencies. NSC 5904/1 turned
into official policy his insistence that the
In the latter part of his second term, Eisenhower did
focus more on the concept of deterrence.
But he made it clear that, for him, deterrence was synonymous with a
firm determination to win a nuclear war by destroying Soviet cities: “The central question is whether or not we
have the ability to destroy anyone who attacks us, because the biggest thing
today is to provide a deterrent to war. .… If we are going to fight a nuclear
war, it was clear in his mind that we would attack cities and governmental
concentrations. Invariably, the
reasoning leads us back to perfecting the deterrent.” When he heard an early 1960 briefing on the
weaponry needed to insure deterrence by guaranteeing the “
This was no theory of Mutually Assured Destruction
(MAD). Early in 1959, Eisenhower already
believed that in “a few years” the Soviets might have "enough missiles so
as not to have grounds to fear retaliation.”
Yet his concept of deterrence continued to depend on the premise that
This turned out to be a quixotic quest, for the Soviets
were determined to keep up in the arms race.
Although they never succeeded during the Eisenhower years (which made
Pre-emption and escalation dominance offered a
significant military advantage only as long as there was some prospect of
meaningful victory. The president knew
Although he realized that a nuclear attack would leave government officials (including himself) and everyone else “completely bewildered … absolutely nuts,” he insisted to his Cabinet: “We are simply going to have to be prepared to operate with people who are ‘nuts.’…[to] preserve some common sense in a situation in which everybody is going crazy.” He wanted emotion management programs to make the will of the people “practically unconquerable.” Still, by 1956 he had begun “to wonder just how much of such a war the run of people would be willing and able to take.” To answer that question, he charged civil defense chief Val Peterson to head up a study on The Human Effects of Nuclear Weapons.
Peterson, who was already directing the
administration's efforts at emotion management, recommended more of the
same. His study predicted that roughly
30% of the
Eisenhower told the NSC that the main import of the Peterson’s findings was the “very definite effect on our war plans.… The only sensible thing for us to do was to put all our resources into our SAC capability and into hydrogen bombs.…[to] concentrate on what measures we should undertake in the first week of war. It would all be over by that time.” He emphasized the importance of the report’s call for effective civil defense measures, especially evacuation of cities, so that nuclear war would be survivable and winnable.
The Peterson panel suggested bomb shelters as a
symbolic way to make ordinary citizens feel “involved.” When the NSC was briefed on the plan, though,
the president’s only question was far from symbolic: How would air coming into shelters be
screened to eliminate radioactive particles? A few months later, he told his
Cabinet that he wanted to “get private industry active on many of the little
‘practical’ problems as perhaps designing a small air purifier for use by
individuals.” By 1957, Eisenhower was
putting more faith in evacuation of cities than in shelters. “If it were practiced sufficiently,” he told
the Cabinet, “the populace would become conditioned to orderly
evacuation.” “He was searching
desperately,” he told the NSC, “to find the best thing for us to do at the
present time in order to minimize the terrible results of a nuclear attack on
By 1958, he began to realize that the rising estimates
of wartime death and destruction made plans for postwar recovery seem
increasingly unrealistic. Occasionally,
he would admit that “if we ever get to the place where these missiles will rain
down out of the skies on the
The President observed that he had asserted many times that if we assumed too much damage there would be little point in planning, since everything would be in ashes. An earlier presentation had estimated that some areas would not be useable for 30 years after an attack; of course planning on this basis is impossible. While we don’t get off scot free in case of an attack, we should make assumptions which describe a realm in which humans can operate.
Eisenhower officially directed NSC to keep “assumptions as to the extent of damage within limits which provide a basis for feasible planning.”
In 1959, as estimates of wartime destruction continued
to grow, Eisenhower approved NSC 5904/1, the official
At times the planning got very specific. At one of its very last meetings, Eisenhower’s NSC debated whether civilian airliners should be commandeered for military use during World War III. The president was against it, because a nuclear war would stop all railroad traffic, “so that we might be dependent for months on the civil airlines…Industry might have to use planes for necessary communication and rehabilitation.” In sum, when Eisenhower told Khrushchev that “war has become nothing more than a struggle for survival,” he did not mean that war was unwinnable. He meant that surviving had become the definition of winning.
Eisenhower could speak confidently about living—and
winning—with nuclear weapons because he brought unrealistic assumptions into
his planning, not only for recovery but also for warfighting. In February, 1956, he ordered the JCS that
“targeting should avoid unnecessarily high population losses.” In 1959, he still “assumed that the targets
we attacked would always be selected and not indiscriminate.” The president explained that he was hoping to
The president also convinced himself, for a while at
least, that he could use nuclear weapons without risking radioactive
fallout. “The H-bomb in proportion to
its size is probably one of the cleanest [weapons],” he told a press
conference. “The whole policy of the
Eisenhower never had a clear grasp of the power of the weapons he was building up. At the very end of his presidency, he could still confess that “no one knows in what condition a nuclear attack will leave the country.” Had he really been concerned about their effects, he would have know that his utterances about “clean” bombs, limited damage, and large surviving populations were virtually meaningless. He sometimes acknowledged that the magnitude of destruction, both at home and abroad, made planning impossible. But he felt obliged to make plans for victory, so he simply ignored what he knew to be true. And his ignorance was, in part at least, by choice. As early as 1957 he told AEC Chairman Strauss “that there are some things he will not allow anyone to tell him.”
Living in such an unreal world and filled as always
with alarm, the president could approach the brink with his nuclear fists at
the ready, as he did in the 1959 crisis over
This type of crisis was inevitable, in part, because
Eisenhower was determined to resort to nuclear weapons no only in direct
conflict with the Soviets, but also in “limited” or “peripheral” wars. “We must now plan to fight peripheral wars on
the same basis as we would fight a general war,” using all available weapons,
he cautioned the NSC. NSC 5810/1 made it
official policy to use nuclear weapons to “deter limited aggression” as well as
a full-scale Soviet attack. This
strategy grew in part from fear of excessive military spending. Eisenhower told the NSC that the
“If we have to fight,” he told the NSC, “we will fight
This was not empty rhetoric, as the policymaking
process revealed. Early in 1956, the
president informed the NSC that the
When the Chinese started shelling offshore islands
again in 1958, his response was much the same as it had been in 1955. He told the British Foreign Secretary that
The president understood that his strategy turned every small war into a potential trigger for a global war. In some situations, as he acknowledged, it would be foolhardy to cross the nuclear threshold. Yet he recognized that “the more the services depend on nuclear weapons the dimmer the President's hope gets to contain any limited war or to keep it from spreading into general war. This is the problem, the President said, which always nags him.” However his own discursive paradigm, combined with his fear of an excessive military budget, forced him to accept this risk. Indeed, that combination made the whole nuclear dilemma insoluble. He could not afford to use the weapons, because that might well trigger general war, but he could not afford to rule out their use. Apocalypse management made it vital to win every conflict at an affordable cost. Using the bomb could easily seem to be the only way to win.
The most powerful argument against the New Look was
that, as Soviet retaliatory power grew, the threat of massive retaliation lost
its credibility. But Eisenhower seems to
have held just the opposite view. His
aide Robert Cutler explained his reasoning most clearly. If the
He admitted to British Prime Minister Macmillan that
the New Look “had been considerably affected … by political considerations
around the world.” Yet when he
acknowledged to the NSC the “serious political problems in view of the current
state of world opinion as to the use of such weapons.…he did not say that world
opinion was right.” Rather, he implied
The president and his aides spent long contentious
hours searching for clearly articulated principles to determine when and how
nuclear weapons would be used. But the
problem turned out to be insoluble.
Principles that might satisfy one faction in the administration were
always unacceptable to some other faction. More fundamentally, the administration was
ensnared in the New Look’s central contradictions. In order to keep its policy credible, the
His solution was to refuse to choose one option or the other. Therefore he could never articulate any guiding principles to translate the New Look into specific policy directives. Though some historians praise this ambiguity as clever strategy, it left administration officials and military leaders just as confused as any enemy might be. Yet the president never wavered from reliance on nuclear weapons as the primary means for fighting and winning war. So he embedded himself ever deeper in his insoluble dilemmas. His pursuit of disarmament, arms control, and a test ban, meant to resolve those dilemmas, would only make them more insoluble.
Notes to Chapter 12
 See, e.g., Dockrill, Eisenhower's New-Look, 192: “Nothing that happened during his second term shook his confidence in the New Look strategy”; Bundy, Danger and Survival, 325: “The president was aware of the profoundly excessive character of the strategic forces he had approved and aware also of the possibly catastrophic consequences of their use, but he did not act on his awareness.”
 NSC, 1/26/56, FRUS 1955-1957, 20: 297; Memorandum of Conference, 2/12/59, AWF, DDE Diaries Series, Box 39, “Staff Notes February 1959 (2)”; Memorandum of conference with the president, 11/4/57, DDE Diaries Series, Box 28, “November 1957 Staff Notes”; Memorandum of Conference 3/4/59, AWF, DDE Diaries Series, Box 39, “Staff Notes March 1-15, 1959 (2).” See also Memorandum of Conference, 2/9/59, AWF, DDE Diaries Series, Box 39, “Staff Notes February 1959 (2)”; Eisenhower’s comment to Herter quoted in Ambrose, Eisenhower, 523; NSC, 4/28/60, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 403.
 Bundy, Danger and Survival, 320.
 See, as one example among many, the influential study by Mandelbaum, The Nuclear Question. Mandelbaum (48) argues that because the hydrogen bomb was such a "giant club" it could be used only to make threats, not to fight wars, making a deterrence strategy inevitable.
Memorandum of Conference with
 NSC, 5/2/58, cited in Wenger, Living With Peril, 202. See also Wampler, “Eisenhower, NATO, and Nuclear Weapons,” 175; Erdmann, “War No Longer Has Any Logic Whatever,” 107-108.
 Diary, 2/8/56, PDDE, 16: 2010.
 Newhouse, War and Peace in the Nuclear Age, 92; C. D. Jackson Log, 8/12/58, quoted in Brands, Cold Warriors, 194. See Brands, “Age of Vulnerability,” 986; Immerman, "Confessions of an Eisenhower Revisionist,” 325.
Eisenhower to William Robinson, 3/22/56, PDDE
175 ; Press Conference, 4/25/56, quoted in
Ambrose, Eisenhower, 343; Memorandum
of Conference, 5/24/56, FRUS 1955-1957, 19: 312. See also Address at
 Eisenhower to Frank Altschul, 10/25/57, AWF, DDE Diaries Series, Box 27, “DDE Diary October 1957”; conversation with Queen Frederika, 12/9/58, AWF, DDE Diaries Series, Box 38, “Staff Notes - Dec. 1958 (1)”; Legislative Leadership Meeting, 8/12/58, AWF, DDE Diaries Series, Box 35, “Aug 1958 Staff Notes (2)”; Memorandum of Conference, 6/16/59, AWF, DDE Diaries Series, Box 41, “Staff Notes June 16-30 (2).”
Memorandum of ,
 Radio and TV address on the Mutual Security, 5/21/57, PPP, 1957, 386; Address to National Conference on International Trade Policy, 3/27/58, PPP, 1958, 251.
also Memorandum of Conference, 1/23/56, FRUS 1955-1957, 19: 189: “He said the thought kept occurring to him
that…it would be a long time before a country so struck would be shipping out
any troops to fight any other kind of war.”
; Memorandum of Conference with
the President, 11/4/57, DDE Diaries Series, Box 28, “November 1957 Staff
Notes.” According to
Roman, Eisenhower and the Missile Gap,
90; NSC, 11/20/58, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 150, 151.
Eisenhower added that victory would not require “a 100 percent
pulverization of the
 NSC, 1/22/59, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 176, 178; Roman, Eisenhower and the Missile Gap, 166. See also Memorandum of Conference with the President, 5/26/60, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 413, and Memorandum of Conference, 3/6/59, AWF, DDE Diaries Series, Box 39, “Staff Notes March 1-15, 1959 (2),” where Senate Armed Services Committee chair Richard Russell agreed with the president that, in a “real” emergency, he should launch an “all-out” nuclear war without consulting Congress first. The strategy of all-out attack on cities allowed the president to order the production of “cheaper missiles … with a much lower level of reliability than we now demand”: Dockrill, Eisenhower's New-Look, 265.
 Press Conference, 5/23/56, PPP, 1956, 525; NSC, 7/9/59, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 239; Memorandum of Conference, 8/16/60, AWF, DDE Diaries Series, Box 51, “Staff Notes August 1960 (2)”; NSC, 9/15/60, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 468; NSC, 11/20/58, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 151; NSC, 12/18/58, AWF, NSC Series, Box 10, “391st Meeting, December 18, 1958.” Eisenhower assumed that, after destroying the Soviet Union, the U.S. would necessarily go on to destroy China as well: NSC, 3/5/59, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 193, 194; see also NSC, 5/12/59, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 202. Attacking cities was central to the Single Integrated Operating Plan (SIOP) for targeting, adopted in 1960, according to Bundy, Danger and Survival, 322.
 See, e.g., NSC, 1/7/60, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 357; Memorandum of Conference with the President, 5/26/60, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 413.
1/23/56, FRUS 1955-1957, 19: 188; Trachtenberg, A Constructed Peace, 160-165, 172, citing Ernest May, et al., History of the Strategic Arms Competition,
1945-1972, pt. 1 (Office of the Secretary of Defense, Historical Office,
1981), 588; ; Beschloss, Mayday, 339.
Appointments, 11/9/57, AWF, Ann Whitman Diary Series,
 Memorandum of Conference with the President, 3/4/59, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 186; NSC, 3/5/59, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 197; NSC, 1/7/60, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 359; NSC, 10/6/60, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 484; Goodpaster memorandum, 8/11/60, PDDE 21: 2100, n.1. See also the reference to Twining’s briefing of Eisenhower in Herken, Counsels of War, 127.
 Brendon, Ike, 363.
 NSC, 3/5/59, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 196; NSC 5904/1, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 208; NSC, 7/23/59, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 275; NSC, 4/28/60, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 401. See also Roman, Eisenhower and the Missile Gap, 104.
 Memorandum of Conference, 11/21/59, AWF, DDE Diaries Series, Box 45, “Staff Notes Nov. 1959 (2)”; Roman, Eisenhower and the Missile Gap, 100; NSC, 9/15/60, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 469.
 Memorandum of Conference, 1/12/59, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 173; Trachtenberg, A Constructed Peace, 181.
 Hughes, Ordeal of Power, 255. Garthoff concludes that Eisenhower and his advisors always “greatly overstated to themselves the real Soviet threat”: Assessing the Adversary, 48. See also Roman, Eisenhower and the Missile Gap, 52-60.
12/20/56, FRUS 1955-1957, 19: 382-383; Eisenhower to Cabinet, 7/19/57, AWF, DDE
Diaries Series, Box 25 “July 1957 Miscellaneous”; Eisenhower to Cabinet,
7/12/57, AWF, DDE Diaries Series, Box 25, “July 1957 Miscellaneous”;
19: 417 The president told
the NSC that if an atomic bomb were dropped on
 Memorandum of Conference with the President, 3/4/59, FRUS 1958-1960, 3:186; Memorandum, 3/3/58, AWF, DDE Diaries Series, Box 31 “Staff Notes March 1958 (2)”; NSC, 12/18/58, AWF, NSC Series, Box 10, “391st Meeting, December 18, 1958.” See also NSC, 1/22/59, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 177.
NSC 5904/1, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 208; NSC, 4/28/60, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 399,
400. Near the end of his second term,
Eisenhower was still using the attack on
NSC, 12/21/60, NSC Series,
 Press Conference, 6/5/57, PPP, 1957, 443; Press Conference, 6/26/57, PPP, 1957, 499; Press Conference, 4/30/58, PPP 1958, 353; Eisenhower to Dulles, 6/25/57, quoted in Ambrose, Eisenhower, 399. Ambrose notes that Eisenhower cited Edward Teller as his authority for the claim of clean bombs coming “in four to five years … which Teller had not said.” See also pre-press conference briefing, 7/17/57, AWF, DDE Diaries Series, Box 25, “DDE Diary7/1/57 – 8/31/57”; Memorandum of Conference, 4/17/58, AWF, DDE Diaries Series, Box 32, “Staff Notes April 1958 (2).”
NSC, 12/22/60,FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 525; Memorandum of conference, 10/29/57, AWF,
DDE Diaries Series,
Craig, Destroying the Village, 78;
Memorandum of Conference, 6/16/59, AWF, DDE Diaries Series, Box 41, “Staff
Notes June 16-30 (2)”; Memorandum of Conference, 3/6/59, AWF, DDE Diaries
Series, Box 39, “Staff Notes March 1-15, 1959 (2).” See also Ambrose, Eisenhower, 503, and NSC, 5/1/58, FRUS 3: 89. Erdmann cites remarks about the
2/27/56, FRUS 1955-1957, 19: 204; NSC 5810/1, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 101-104; NSC,
6/26/58, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 121-122. In
the latter meeting, Eisenhower was seconding Dulles’ view that if the cost of a
conventional operation might run to two or three billion dollars, then nuclear
weapons should be used to keep the cost down.
In 1956, the president was already discussing detailed plans for
“adapting the [Army] Division to the atomic battlefield,” where “small
divisions—largely self-contained—would be needed which could weave between
NSC, 1/3/57, FRUS 1955-1957, 19: 397; NSC, 3/5/59, FRUS 1958-1960, 3:199, 200;
Press Conference, 4/17/57, PPP, 1957, 287; Kistiakowsky, A Scientist at the White House, 400. On one occasion, Eisenhower speculated about
fending off a hypothetical military attack from
Wenger, Living With Peril, 128;
Ambrose, Eisenhower, 368; Hughes, Ordeal of Power, 223; Special Message to
Congress on the Situation in the
Memorandum of Conference, 9/21/58, AWF, DDE Diaries Series, Box 36, “Staff Notes Sept. 1958”; NSC,
7/9/59, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 245; NSC 10/6/60, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 485, 486. In 1958, Eisenhower also used the
 Bundy, Danger and Survival, 285. Dulles was willing to risk nuclear war if the financial cost of conventional war in east Asia grew too high, and he assumed that nuclear weapons could be used with no resulting radioactive fallout: NSC, 6/26/58, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 121; Lyon, Eisenhower, 834.
 Memorandum of Conference, 8/24/60, AWF, DDE Diaries Series, Box 51, “Staff Notes August 1960 (1).”
Cutler memorandum, 3/20/58, quoted in Roman, Eisenhower and the Missile Gap, 69.
See also ibid., 77, 87; Dockrill, Eisenhower's
New-Look, 260; Bose, “Winning the Peace by Threatening Nuclear War,” 947. These explanations are much more persuasive
than Campbell Craig’s very speculative argument in Destroying the Village that Eisenhower was craftily manipulating
policy to make war with the
 Gaddis, Strategies of Containment, 172, 170; NSC, 5/17/56, FRUS 1955-1957, 19: 307. See also Memorandum, 1/23/56, FRUS 1955-1957, 19: 191.
Wenger, Living With Peril, 169; NSC,
2/27/56, FRUS 1955-1957, 19: 204, 211; Memorandum of Conference with the
President, 7/2/59, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 235; Memorandum of Conference, 8/16/60,
AWF, DDE Diaries Series, Box 51, “Staff Notes August 1960 (2).” also, e.g.,
1957. ” On some occasions, he denied that nuclear
fears in allied nations were a major problem; e.g., NSC, 2/28/57, FRUS
1955-1957, 19: 428, 432.
 See, e.g., Memorandum of Conference with the President, 7/2/59, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 229-235; Memorandum of Conference with the President, 7/14/59, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 254; Memorandum of Conference, 8/24/60, AWF, DDE Diaries Series, Box 51, “Staff Notes August 1960 (1)”; NSC, 10/6/60, FRUS 1958-1960, 3: 484.
 Dockrill, Eisenhower's New-Look, 197.